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Monsanto posts record quarter


St. Louis-based Monsanto Corp. more than doubled its net income and achieved record sales in its fiscal first quarter as demand for its agriculture technologies increased in Latin America.

Net income for the three months ended Nov. 30 was $556 million, compared with $256 million in the year-ago period. Net sales reached $2.6 billion, up 29 percent, driven by strong demand for Roundup and other herbicides in Brazil, along with higher corn seed and trait sales in the United States and Brazil and higher soybean seeds and traits sales growth in the United States.

The company said the second and third quarters are a better indication of its full-year results, because they reflect the size of its U.S. business.

Monsanto raised its full-year earnings-per-share guidance to $4.40 to $4.50 from a range of $4.20 to $4.40. It also updated its cash flow guidance to be a little more than $1.8 billion for the fiscal year, reflecting the company’s ability to grow while maintaining financial discipline.

In December, the company said it would delay opening a $100 million proposed seed corn production facility in Independence, Iowa, until 2011 due to a record year of seed corn production at its other facilities, the Associated Press reported.

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